A permed insipid woman asked me for a raspberry vodka and soda. The same day, some guy asked me via the tubes of the internet, “how do you get the smoke into the carafe?” He was referring to the smoked drink of the previous blog post. This was a curious coincidence because how does one continue to innovate when one risks alienating guests with crazy smoked drinks? So I give you this: how to make a smoked cocktail (like the Courting Rachel on the menu at Mistral Kitchen) and, how to make a drink that normal people actually want (like the Bruja Smash, also on the cocktail menu at Mistral Kitchen). Let us now address these points in order.
Courting Rachel- Gear List:
- Chunk of ice
- A carafe to blow smoke into
First you need to make the smoke, for this I know 3 options:
1. The Smoking Gun from Poly Science, pros: cheap, $60, cons: crappy, unwieldy and will break.
2. The Super Alladin from 100% Chef, pros: hasn’t broken yet, stands on its own, very powerful, long tube cools smoke for very dense smoke, made of metal, cons: stupid fucking expensive, $300, very hard to clean.
3. Your local head shop probably has a better answer, ask them.
Then you’ll need some wood chips. I get mine at Hearth and Home, which seems to be a chain, they cost about $10 for a lifetime supply. But, they are huge, much bigger than what will fit it the smoker, grind them up with a spice grinder or perhaps an old coffee grinder from the thrift store.
Now you need a cocktail, I basically use an Old Fashioned. The booze in the Courting Rachel is simple:
2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon .25 oz rye whiskey simple syrup 2 dashes Peychauds stir
But let us be the devil’s avocado (the most sinful of fruits), let us assume that though badass by all definitions of badass, the Courting Rachel fails to make most people happy. Why? Because it tastes like booze and smoke. The Venn diagram of peoople who like smoke, to people who actually enjoy the taste of alcohol has a small overlap. Let us say, that it is indeed summer and your restaurant bar has tourists in it. Let us also presume that rotund women in their 40’s care not for the taste of booze. The Venn diagram of rotund women, to women who like the taste of alcohol to be covered up with sugar and fruit has quite a large overlap; it basically looks like one circle. So I tender to you, a drink that when you are asked for a raspberry vodka soda, you may serve instead, a compromise, a drink that people will actually like. The Bruja Smash Toss into a mixing glass, 8 mint leaves 6 raspberries 1.5 oz Reposado Tequila (or for this lady, Vodka) .5 oz Fresh lemon 1 oz Licore Strega (or for this lady, Simple Syrup) Fill shaker will crushed ice Shake hard and dump into a big glass Top with crushed ice and a mint sprig.
But, there are a couple of tricks to this one. To get nice dry fine, crushed ice, you’ll need a lewis bag. To get a lewis bag, you can go to ultimate bar chef, google tag bar bag, get a bank bag meant to hold change or do what I do, have your mommy sew one for you. Thanks mom. You’ll also need an implement of smashing, a large muddler, or a wood working mallet. Don’t use a rubber mallet, it will bounce back and hit you in the face, severely reducing your coolness.
This is a drink you can feed to a child. This is a drink that shows off skill, and build trust. Diplomacy is the true cornerstone of tending bar. Impressing people is a very close second.